“Material Girl” Madonna and ex-husband Guy Ritchie divorced in 2008 and spent the next eight years battling over the custody of their son, Rocco John Ritchie.
Back in 2016 pop icon, Madonna lost custody of her then-15-year-old son Rocco to ex-husband director Guy Ritchie after an attempt at an agreement between the parties failed.
Rocco, like so many other children, became the battleground on which his parents lashed out at each other over their pain, their anger, their disappointment after their 8-year-marriage fell apart.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
The pop diva married the British directorin 2000. The couple welcomed their son Rocco in August 2000 and tied the knot in December of the same year. Madonna already had a child, Lourdes Leon, from a previous relationship.
It looked as if Madonna had finally found “The One,” after her previous marriage to Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn had ended in allegations of violence in 1989.
But in 2008, the marriage fell apart and the couple divorced. The settlement cost Madonna an alleged $90 million, and initially, Rocco lived with his mother in New York, while Guy lived in London.
Guy remarried and had three more children over the next few years, and Rocco often traveled to the UK to spend time with his father and his siblings.
Madonna’s fans quickly grew to know the teenaged Rocco, who traveled with her on her Rebel Heart Tour and performed with his mom on stage. Rocco kept up with his schoolwork on the road with a tutor.
Then, when he was 14, one of Rocco’s visits to his father in London became permanent. Rocco decided he preferred to live with his more relaxed dad, rather than with his famously strict mom and started an epic battle.
Madonna accused Guy of retaining her son in the UK against his will and filed a suit in the London Courts citing the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.
Madonna tried to persuade her son to return to the US with her, but the then-15-year-old was determined to remain with his father. The only way to get her son back was through the courts.
The British Courts allowed the transfer of the case to the United States, but while Guy and Madonna were present at the New York Supreme Court hearing, Rocco chose to remain in London.
The court appointed a lawyer to represent Rocco and his interest, even though both his parents had legal representation, and under the judge’s instructions, were attempting to come to an agreement.
Rocco was physically absent from the proceedings and even refused to listen in to the hearing by telephone. The ruling judge, Justice Deborah Kaplan ordered Rocco to return to the US. She reportedly stated:
“If he wants to stay with his father, he must return to his mother.”
Rocco had referred to his mother in the past as an “old-school parent,” and had described her as “strict,” whereas his father has a more laid-back and relaxed parenting style — heaven for a teen.
Rocco also revealed that he was tired from the constant touring he and his siblings were subjected to, and wanted a more stable and tranquil home life, something he’d get living in London with his father.
Madonna lost custody of Rocco, as the Judge took into account the teen’s wishes, and he has been living with his father ever since. Nevertheless, Rocco and Madonna are still close. Recently, Rocco turned 20, and is now a young man.
Madonna now lives in Lisbon Portugal with her younger children, Mercy, David, Stelle, and Estere — a two-hour flight from London. The iconic singer’s oldest daughter Lourdes Leon is now 24, and a gifted singer who is following in mom’s footsteps.